Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney.
“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote.
American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography, Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.”
It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as her struggles in her personal life.
Developed and Premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company
Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director
Subsequently produced by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Blake Robison, Artistic Director and Buzz Ward, Managing Director
Generously sponsored by:
Kim Rachelle Harris* (Rosemary Clooney) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! A Tennessee native, Kim currently sings with the Manhattan-based bluegrass band, The NYCity Slickers. Off Broadway: Room Service (Christine Marlowe), Regional: 42nd Street (Dorothy Brock) at Forestburgh Playhouse, Oliver! (Nancy) at Mill Mountain Theatre, Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley) at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. Other favorite NYC credits: Romeo and Juliet (Pulse Ensemble Theatre), The Toymaker (NYMF 2009), Rip! (MITF 2011). A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, Kim has been a featured performer at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL and Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. Fanatical about family, friends, faith, felines, funny films, and FOOD! Grateful member of AEA. This show is dedicated to Mammaw Harris, who first introduced me to the song “This Ole House” and is watching from her “new house with the saints.” www.kimrachelleharris.com
Michael Marotta* (The Doctor) is delighted to make his Ivoryton debut with Tenderly, revisiting the characters he created in Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where this piece was developed. He joins us directly from Florida Rep, having directed the new play Erma Bombeck:At Wit’s End after spending the summer in St. Louis, where he played the father of the bride in STAGES It Shoulda Been You and Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein at the famed St. Louis MUNY! Most recent credits include: Gypsy w/Sally Mayes (Herbie/Harbor Lights), The Music Man w/Will Chase & Betsy Wolfe (Marcellus/Cincinnati Pops), Cabaret (Herr Schultz /The Rep St. Louis), and Billy Flynn in Chicago (Flat Rock Playhouse). A native New Yorker, hometown credits include Mad about the Boy, a salute to Noel Coward and Irving Berlin’s Louisiana Purchase, both at Carnegie Hall. As a cabaret artist, Michael has twice been the recipient of both the MAC Award and the BACKSTAGE Bistro Award.
Directed by: Brian Feehan
Musical Director: Dan Brandl
Stage Manager: Michelle Tuite
Scenic Designer: William Russell Stark*
Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott
Sound Designer: Tate Burmeister
Costume Designer: Rebecca Welles
Wig Designer: Liz Cipollina
* member of Actors Equity
As longtime fans of Rosemary Clooney, we always knew we wanted to craft a show about her remarkable life and career. Her engaging personality filled the screen in all her movies and TV shows, and her many recordings – with that undeniable and beautiful voice – captured a heartfelt genuineness. We were intrigued by her childhood ties to Kentucky and Cincinnati and how her journey eventually brought her to Hollywood and concert stages across the United States and abroad.
In our research into Rosemary’s life, we visited Maysville and Augusta, KY on several occasions – her childhood home, eating at one of her favorite restaurants, walking through the movie theatre and the Opera House, having a slice of Transparent Pie, visiting the church where she and Dante married and the house they shared together, and her final resting place.
We talked with her friends, family members, and business associates and heard first-hand stories about Rosemary – read the words she wrote in both her autobiographies, watched her films and many interviews which exist online and – of course – listened to her many, many recordings.
We were moved by the challenges and struggles she faced throughout her life, and the inspiring way she rose above them all to enjoy a long and fruitful career – surrounded by the love of family, friends, and the countless Rosemary Clooney fans around the world. Her enduring body of work is the way she touched the hearts and lives of those she worked with, her audiences, and even the most casual acquaintance.
Rosemary’s courage, strength and sense of humor in the face of many challenges is an inspiring lesson. Her ability to re-invent her career and move forward with her life is a wonderful example for all of us.
We hope that “Tenderly” is a pleasant reunion for many of Rosemary’s lifelong fans and will also introduce a new audience to her legacy as well.
Mark Friedman & Janet Yates Vogt
Join us for an opening night reception with the cast following the performance on Friday, October 28th. Light refreshments will be served.
Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!
Connecticut Premier of new musical play
Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
At the Ivoryton Playhouse
October 26th – November 13th, 2016
Ivoryton – Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography. Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as her struggles in her personal life.
“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House”, which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House.” Clooney’s career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her “White Christmas” co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.
This production was developed and premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company and produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Michael Marotta* will be revisiting the role of the Doctor that he helped develop and Kim Rachelle Harris* will be making her debut as Rosemary Clooney. The production is directed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Dan Brandl, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Rebecca Welles.
Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on October 26th and runs through November 13th, 2016. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
*denotes member of Actors Equity
Members of the press are welcome at any performance after October 28th. Please call ahead for tickets.
Generously sponsored by Hamilton Communications and Comcast
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!